Old Bags ben­e­fit men­tal health

Record Observer - - Community - By CHRISTO­PHER KERSEY ck­ersey@ches­pub.com

GRASONVILLE — It was a “fab­u­lous party” at the Old Bags Lun­cheon fundraiser on Fri­day, Sept. 16, at the Prospect Bay Coun­try Club with women shop­ping for purses loaded with good­ies be­fore they sat down for a fancy lunch.

And pro­ceeds ben­e­fit men­tal health ser­vices and the peo­ple they serve in Queen Anne’s County.

Al­most 200 peo­ple were ex­pected at the lun­cheon where they bought or bid on more than 300 purses which were do­nated. The purses, ei­ther new or gently used, were sold to peo­ple or bid on with a silent auc­tion. There was also a Chi­nese raf­fle where the women put raf­fle tick­ets into Chi­nese food car­tons and win­ners are selected.

“It was a fab­u­lous party. I know we made in the midst of $26,000 to $28,000. All the things were do­nated and ev­ery­thing was profit. All the peo­ple who do­nated are lo­cal,” said Deb­bie Shi­ley, chair­woman of the event.

She ex­pects more ex­act fig­ures on the to­tal amount raised later on.

Pro­ceeds from the event’s sales will sup­por t the Queen Anne’s County Men­tal Health Com­mit­tee’s ef­forts to pro­vide and en­hance men­tal health ser­vices in the county. The com­mit­tee spon­sored the fundraiser.

“All [funds] go to lo­cal pro­grams that help peo­ple in the com­mu­nity who need ser­vices for men­tal health,” Shi­ley said.

Many purses were loaded with do­nated good­ies, rang­ing from jew­elry to wine to one back­pack that came with a red and gray bi­cy­cle. The purses ranged from bar­gains to fab­u­lous fakes to more ex­pen­sive bags.

Auc­tioned off was “A Night with Chef Paul” where 10 guests were in­vited to share an evening with the ex­ec­u­tive chief in his kitchen at the Knoxie’s Ta­ble at the Inn at Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Beach Club in Stevensville.

One of those shop­ping for a purse was Heather Guerieri of Ch­ester. She’s di­rec­tor of Com­pass Re­gional Hos­pice. “This is my se­cond year, just to sup­port the lo­cal char­i­ties. Every­body sup­ports hos­pice,” she said.

“This is my first year,” said Karen Colony of Stevensville. “I’m lov­ing the silent auc­tion. I have a feel­ing some [things] will be go­ing home with me to­day.”

Thanks to the Queen Anne’s County Men­tal Health Com­mit­tee, in 2015, more than $37,500 in grants was awarded to the fol­low­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions: Queen Anne’s County Health De­part­ment’s Healthy Fam­i­lies Pro­gram; Cross­roads Com­mu­nity Inc.; Cor­sica River Men­tal Health Inc.; Haven Min­istries; Queen Anne’s County Health De­part­ment’s Healthy Nur­tur­ing Pro­gram; Tal­is­man Ther­a­peu­tic Rid­ing; East­ern Shore Hos­pi­tal Cen­ter; and Com­pass Re­gional Hos­pice.

The com­mit­tee is a non­profit 501(c)(3) or­ga­ni­za­tion es­tab­lished to sup­port those mem­bers of the com­mu­nity who need as­sis­tance cop­ing with men­tal ill­ness. The group was founded in 1986 by L ynette Niel­son, who re­al­ized that lo­cal men­tal health pro­grams needed ac­cess to ad­di­tional funds to serve the needs of their pa­tients.

The Queen Anne’s County Men­tal Health Com­mit­tee spon­sored the Old Bags Lun­cheon on Fri­day, Sept. 16, at the Prospect Bay Coun­try Club. From left, Bob­bie Cusi­mano, Deb­bie Dean and Salena Bar­rett, all com­mit­tee mem­bers.

PHO­TOS BY CHRISTO­PHER KERSEY

Th­ese three ladies checked peo­ple in at the Old Bags Lun­cheon on Fri­day, Sept. 16, at the Prospect Bay Coun­try Club in Grasonville. From left are Julie Dixon of Grasonville, Su­san Vianna of Ch­ester, and Jennifer Helfen­bein of Queen­stown.

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